The 5 Best All-wheel Drive Cars to Drive in Canada
Written by DriveAxis.ca May 17, 2023
Rear-wheel drive cars may be a blast when you’re behind the wheel of a fancy sports car, but when the snow starts to fall, the fun tends to dry up quite fast. That’s because Canadian winters are treacherous, dumping mountains of snow on us for several months, while contributing to the buildup of dangerous ice patches underneath our wheels. Suddenly, the daily commute turns into a nightmare of white-knuckled paranoia over whether you’ll slide right through a red light and suffer a nasty crash.
All-wheel drive (AWD) is the optimal solution for many who don’t feel like switching to another vehicle during the winter months, or filling the trunk with sandbags. Though commonly mistaken for a traditional 4x4 drivetrain, AWD is quite different, and has been adopted in many cars to deliver maximum traction and control in dangerous weather, be it a winter blizzard or a massive summer rainstorm. Canadians have several great models to choose from that come highly recommended, especially if it’s your first time buying an AWD car. Doing so will give you added peace of mind and a glorious boost of confidence when those skies start to turn cloudy!
TOYOTA COROLLA HYBRID
The Corolla is a flagship in Toyota’s vehicle lineup, and for good reason. It’s recognizable, built to last, sports great looks, and has plenty of bells and whistles for drivers to appreciate. It also comes in an AWD flavor, with a hybrid engine to sweeten the deal. Comfort is a major focus in the Corolla, with lots of head and legroom, heated seats, plenty of infotainment options, and a banging six-speaker stereo.
Since it’s a hybrid, you’ll also be paying far less at the pump, which is great, considering the Corolla nabs a fuel economy rating of up to 5.3 L/100 km. You’ll be filling up less, with a lighter hit to the pocketbook, all while enjoying the goodness of AWD traction when the roads get slippy.
Subaru has made AWD a staple of their car lineup for quite a while now, and it’s one of the many reasons customers flock to the brand. The Impreza continues Subaru’s tradition of delivering fantastic handling, comfort and quality, not to mention some decent horsepower for those who like a bit more of a kick. The 2.5L 4-cylinder cranks out 182 hp, which blends practicality with convenience.
Inside, the Impreza offers up a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, dual-zone climate control, and tons of driver assist safety features like adaptive cruise control, auto e-braking, lane-keeping and centering assist, and more. The true highlight of the car is Subaru’s signature AWD system, which has been refined for many years for the ultimate reassurance when driving.
What’s this, you might ask? An AWD Dodge Charger? Sacrilege, surely! Fear not - Dodge has limited AWD options to the SXT and GT trims, while traditional muscle car racing purists can opt for the meatier 6.2L and supercharged V8 options, with RWD drivetrain. Plus, it’ll make you look like a boss when you peel off a green light in the middle of a blizzard without any effort!
The heart of the Charger is a love for the muscle cars of old, in modern form. There’s a lot of cabin room, plenty of creature comforts, a premium sound system, and a bunch of safety features to keep you intact during freewheeling weekend cruises down the highway. It may be pricier than other AWD cars on this list, but it’s the perfect option for those who enjoy both speed and power, without having to worry about ending up in a ditch during a heavy snowfall.
Mazda’s stellar reputation was built on FWD vehicles, but as with many manufacturers, it quickly embraced AWD for those who desire it. The Mazda3 remains one of the most popular cars in its lineup, and an AWD option surely hits the sweet spot for anyone desiring convenience and safety at a fair price.
The Mazda3 offers AWD drivetrains in both the 2.0L 4-cylinder and 2.5L options, but unfortunately, it’s not offered in the turbocharged GT trim. That’s a small tradeoff for those who don’t want to spend a bundle to get to work safely during the harsh winter months, however. The Mazda3 is sporty, fashionable and respectable, with a lot of interior options that are sure to satisfy drivers during their daily commute.
Japanese automaker Nissan has been cranking out excellent AWD trims for many of their vehicles for years, driven by their fantastic ATTESA (Advanced Total Traction Engineering System for All-Terrain) system. It’s so reliable that it has even been incorporated into the company’s luxury brand Infiniti, allowing sports cars like the G35 and G37 to plow effortlessly through heavy snowfall. The Altima makes AWD standard, which is great news for Canadian drivers.
In addition to the fantastic AWD system, the Altima sports all the creature comforts and technologies one could want, plus a bevy of driver assist/safety features including rear automatic braking, auto high-beams and rear parking sensors. All this, while looking dynamite on the road, as well.
AWD isn’t for everyone, but for those intimidated by Canadian winters, it’s definitely a must-have. These cars are all excellent choices for tackling bad weather, and avoiding accidents, but it really boils down to your personal preference, lifestyle choices and needs. If you’re having trouble deciding which model is best for you, contact DriveAxis for assistance. We’ll help you narrow down the ideal choice!
What’s more, we’ll even handle all the financing in-house, so you don’t have to worry about getting approved, regardless of your credit history! All of our vehicles are backed up with a rigorous inspection process so you can drive off the lot feeling confident in your new car. Contact us today to get started!